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Let me try that again...

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My apologies to the moderaters. I overlooked a fundamental rule in my first attempt at posting. Hopefully I've corrected it to their satisfaction...so here goes:
Hi everyone! Just moved to TO with my family and as an incurable foodie quickly found my way to this board. Just spent a year in the sticks eating 4th rate chicken chow mein (don't ask), but I've spent most of my life living in various parts of the globe, including a decade in Hong Kong.
I'm originally from New Zealand, but have lived in Indonesia, Thailand, China, Turkey, England, Ireland, and most recently The Netherlands. I like to kid myself that I know a thing or two about good food.
I'm not a huge fan of haute cuisine, preferring inspired peasant food for the most part and I can be blinded to the goriest of restaurant environments by a single fantastic dish. I have eaten things most people prefer not to even contemplate in search of culinary nirvana and I continue my search undeterred by multiple failures.
Having been in TO for a fortnight now, I am increasingly excited by the possibilities available to me. Hopefully my wallet and my belt will both withstand the strain.
My favourite little hole in the wall so far is Makkah, on the Danforth. Truly dismal surroundings, but my god can those people make a naan! They seem to function largely as a takeout joint serving the local population (they are right opposite a mosque), but I really recommend sitting in their dining area so you can have the naan as it comes fresh from the tandoor. While you munch, you can contemplate the huge photo of Mecca during the haaj and cleanse your soul! Seriously good kebabs here.
The worst so far has been a little sushi joint near Woodbine on the Danforth called Happy Sushi. I was certainly not happy after that experience. Third rate everything. Dry rice, poor seasoning, you name it. Avoid like the plague.
Well, that's about enough. Drop by and say hi if you feel moved to do so. I hope to be posting regularly and sharing my adventures in my new home. Bonne chance!

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  1. Hello and welcome!

    I enjoyed reading your post and you've inspired me to go to Makkah on the danforth and try the bread. Anything else in particular you'd recommend from the menu?

    I've been to Turkey too a few times, including a stay with distant relatives. Love the food and flavours. I'm with you on the peasant food thing :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: BamiaWruz

      You know, I would love to tell you the name of the particular kebab I tried, but I honestly can not remember! I will check next time I pass. I can tell you this much, it is the most expensive one on the menu as I recall, it is on the left of the menu behind the counter, not to the side of it. I think it was $7.99. You must try it. It is done on a long skewer in the tandoor and is dripping with a marinade when it goes in, When it comes out, the meat is so tender and so perfectly spiced you'll want to drop and thank Allah on the spot, even if you're a Buddhist! It is beef, but the texture is so unique I thought they had made a mistake and given me a chicken liver kebab. My daughter swears by the chicken sheek kebabs, but I'm afraid she is wrong :)
      Hope you enjoy it. Let me know.

      1. re: munchieHK

        Sounds like that's exactly what I need, hehe. Thank you for the detailed visual :)

        Looking forward to it, don't go to that area often as in the east end but when I do that's where I'm going.

      2. re: BamiaWruz

        I order take-out from them all the time and haven't yet had anything that wasn't very good. A little gem on the danny!

      3. If you like Makkah then you should give Moti Mahal a shot. It is on the North side of Gerard just 200 (ish) meters west of Coxwell. Search on Chow for it. Self service, but really quite good.

        1. Have enjoyed Makkah many a time. I suggest you head down to Little India and try Moti Mahal; they have a few tables but do a lot of take-out.

          Oh, just reading down and notice Paulustrious has already made this recommendation, so this would be a seconding of that...

          What types of food are you interested in? Definitely recommend against visiting random sushi restos.

          A few other Danforth area restaurants that might fit the bill for you:

          Dukem - very good Ethiopian
          Walima - Moroccan
          Djerba la Douce - interesting North African with French influences
          Jean's Vegetarian - vegetarian Thai food

          1. Welcome to TO munchieHK. I hope you find TO food as food worthy as Thailand and Turkey. I am sure all the regulars on Chowhound would love to know how the ethnic flavours we are so proud to have at our doorstep compare to the rest of the world and indeed to their lands or origin. I used to enjoy the naan at Lahore Tikka House further east on Danforth from Makkah in Little India. However, I haven't been in a couple of years.

            6 Replies
            1. re: theel

              Thank you kindly, Theel. I will check that place out. Be seeing you!

              1. re: munchieHK

                You'll have to try pork bone soup with 5 or 6 sides at one of the Korean places near Yonge and Finch. What a bargain.

                1. re: Wiley

                  Actually, I had a great Gamjaetang in a little place in Koreatown on Bloor just the other day. It was everything it should be, obviously made from scratch. Not a fancy place, but full of Korean students. Cheap and oh so good! I must get up to Finch though. I hear that's the place for Persian food.

                  1. re: munchieHK

                    Yonge between Finch and Hwy. 7 is the growing Persian and Lebanese corridor, particularly south of steeles. You should also check Lawrence avenue between Victoria Park and Birchmount for middle eastern flavours. As you are finding out from all the various replys, there is plenty of ethnic variety in TO. Have fun reading all the previous TO boards.

              2. re: theel

                Slight correction for theel's (hereby seconded) recommendation. Lahore Tikka is on Gerard.

                1. re: Paulustrious

                  You are right. My apologies.

              3. Just thought of another one that has been highly praised on this board:

                Sukhothai - authentic Thai food on Parliament near Gerrard.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Full tummy

                  +1 for Sukhothai, most authentic thai in the city, super delicious :)

                2. Welcome!
                  Sounds like you are in my neck of the woods... check out Zen Sushi which is near Midland & Eglinton - it's about a ten minute drive from Woodbine & Danforth - or a short bus ride from Kennedy station. If you do a search on chowhound you'll see it comes up regularly as one of the better sushi places in the city (remember this IS Toronto - so manage your expectations) - but I do hit Zen weekly.

                  1. Welcome! One place you might definitely want to explore is Kensington Market. Not an actual market, but a neighbourhood with many shops and flavours. Augusta is the main street, running north/south west of Spadina, south of College. There are a number of South American grocery shops that have mini kitchens at the back that make tacos, pupusas, tamales, etc. Many posts about the area.

                    Also, you might want to check out a fellow Kiwi, Andrew Milne-Allan, who cooks at Zucca, one of the best Italian eclectic regional places in town.